Even in a season of pure dominance, Manchester City’s recent record is beginning to look rather ridiculous. The champions-elect have now won 18 on the spin in the Premier League, and look absolutely unstoppable.
Wednesday night’s visit to Newcastle should warn them against complacency, however, as Rafa Benitez’s side kept the margin between the sides to a single goal despite being under immense pressure for most of the night, and had opportunities late on to draw level.
Roy Hodgson and his Crystal Palace side will have taken all of the inspiration they can from such a performance ahead of today’s game, and City will likely have to be at their stunning best to gain a big victory here. If they’re to do that, Guardiola will have to get his team selection right, and this is the XI we expect him to go with:
|PLAYER||% MINS PLD||GLS||AST.|
|0||0||0 / 0|
|0||5||5 / 1|
|0||0||1 / 0|
|5||0||7 / 0|
|1||1||2 / 0|
|2||3||5 / 0|
|5||10||3 / 0|
|7||12||4 / 0|
|17||4||3 / 0|
|8||10||4 / 0|
|3||0||0 / 0|
|Totals||48||45||34 / 1|
|TOTAL PREMIER LEAGUE EXPERIENCE|
The center of defense continues to be on area of concern for City, with Vincent Kompany picking up yet another injury last time out. Nicolás Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala have both improved a lot this year, however, and will partner once again at Selhurst Park.
Few midfield units in Europe are currently running as smoothly as that of Fernandinho, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne, and they will once again be trusted to run the game here. With a remarkable 25 assists between them already this season, Palace should beware.
The fact that Gabriel Jesus continues to keep all-time record goalscorer Sergio Agüero out of the team exemplifies City’s strength in depth at the moment, and he looks set to be given the nod once more here. With Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane alongside him, there are few trickier front lines around.
Overall it’s a spectacular Manchester City side, and one that currently expects to win every single game. Palace will certainly be no pushovers, but to anything other than a City win would go down as a huge shock. New Betfair customers can back City to win at huge odds of 25/1, and there surely can’t be a safer bet around right now.
This is backed up by KickOff’s all new Acca Smacker (below), which uses our unique predictive algorithm to give City a 77% chance of victory, compared to just 8% for Crystal Palace. Such high numbers are rare for an away win, and really emphasize how strong City are right now.
And this is reinforced further when flicking over to the ‘Form Stat’ tab. Using 18 key data points, 9 attacking and 9 defensive, from the past 10 games for each side, KickOff compares the two sides and finds that City come out on top in 17 of them. Quite simply, no one can touch this side right now.